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The Retail Connection – Children’s Product Certificate

Children's Product Certificates

By Bill Jacoby

CPSIA became fully effective on January 1st, 2012. As of this date, all Children’s product Manufacturers and Distributors are required to issue a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC), based on third-party testing from a CPSC-recognized laboratory, to Retailers and Distributors, and upon request to the CPSC for children’s products imported or distributed in commerce on or after Jan 1,2012. As a retailer, it is important to understand what is required of the manufacturer/importer who is providing the children’s products that you sell at the retail level. If you sell products on your website and the manufacturer drop ships the product, they are still technically responsible to send you the certificate.

What does certification of children’s products mean in light of current regulations?  Certification means the issuance of a written Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) in which the manufacturer, importer or private labeler certifies that the children’s product complies with all of the safety rules that applies to it.  This certification must be based upon the results of third-party testing that is used as the basis for which the manufacturer, importer or private labeler certifies the product.  The manufacturer, importer or private labeler by law is responsible for drafting and issuing the CPC.

This CPC must be furnished to the retailer and can be an actual hard copy of the certificate or the manufacturer/importer can provide a reasonable means to access the certificate such as a dedicated website.  A CPC does not have to be filed with the government.  The CPC must “accompany” the product shipment and be furnished to distributors or retailers, and upon request to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Customs.see CPSC advice here:

If the product is manufactured overseas and imported into the country, a CPC is required with each import shipment.  This requirement applies to both imports and products that are manufactured domestically.  Again, the CPC can either be in a hard copy format or an electronic certificate (if the certificate is identified by a unique identifier and can be accessed via a web URL or other electronic means).

The CPC does not have to be signed by the manufacturer/importer as the act of issuing the certificate satisfies this regulation.  Failure to furnish a CPC or to issue a false certificate is a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and can lead to a civil penalty of between $100,000 and up to $15 million along with possible criminal penalties and asset forfeiture.

As a retailer, how are you set up to receive these certificates? Most likely they are being sent either as a pdf document or as a link to stored document. As you currently do not have a requirement to store these certificates, you should as good business practice be able to track certificates back to the manufacturer for products you sell. As the GCC/CPC requirement is not going away soon, now is the time to think about how you receive, store and or access these documents now before they start piling up and provide your preference of receipt to your manufacturer if asked as this will make it easier on you in the long run to access these certificates if requested.



Are you a Small Batch Manufacturer? If So you need to register today with CPSC!

Jan 2, 2012, by Bill Jacoby


FYI – Important if you are a Manufacturer of Children’s Products.

The CPSC has defined a “children’s product” to mean a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. In determining whether a consumer product is primarily intended for a child 12 years of age or younger, you need to take the following factors into consideration:

  • A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such a statement is reasonable.
  • Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger.
  • Whether a product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger
  • The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the CPSC staff in September 2002, and any successor to such guidelines

If you qualify and if you are a manufacturer of children’s products and produce in small batches, it is critical that you register for a small batch exemption if your sales are less than 1 million dollars from the previous calendar year or you have manufactured less than 7,500 qualifying (children’s products) units. Registering for an exemption will exempt you from third party testing requirements under CPSIA.  Most apparel products were granted broad exemptions already but this will help you in the event your items include non-exempt components. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is just a testing exemption, you are still required to comply with standards defined under the CPSIA law.


This is a two step process. Part one is to register your business which will get you an account user ID if you don’t already have one. It is pretty straightforward.

After you request the business ID, you’ll get an email saying that the CPSC is overwhelmed with applicants but they’ve got you in the queue and will get back to you as soon as they can. This may take up to 12 hours, maybe more. Once they get back to you, you will need to confirm the registration by activating your account by creating a password. You may hit a snag at this point if you’re using the wrong username -say, your company name. The username was created at sign up and consists of your first and last name. Once you’ve activated your account, you can sign up as a small batch manufacturer. This is also fairly straightforward.

As a qualifying small batch manufacturer, you will need to register with the CPSC on an annual basis. You will still need to issue a certificate (CPC/GCC), however you will not need to conduct third -party testing for either lead or phthalate content. Additionally, your products must still meet both the lead and phthalate content limits.

You can visit the CPSC page for more information. Ignorance of the law is no excuse so please register today.